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Spicy Black Beans with Sweet Potatoes

January 18, 2016

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Since we ran in 2016, I’ve been making a real, honest effort to get back into the kitchen for non-work related purposes. For me that means more meal planning, taking the time to prepare a grocery list based around sales fliers and coupons, and then actually sticking to that meal plan. What I’ve realized is that we not only eat healthier (duh!) but our meals are more interesting and fun and we spend so much less on groceries each week.

I’m making it a goal of mine to share more real, everyday meals with you. Because sure, I can make a really beautiful, involved recipe to share on this blog, but chances are you don’t have the ingredients on hand nor the time or interest in actually making said recipe. So instead of sharing a Pinterest-perfect meal, I’m going to be sharing more real meals from the Hofmeyer kitchen. You know, the stuff we’re eating week in and week out!

I’ve been working with the team at Riceland Foods on some recipe development, so we have a surplus of brown rice on hand. Joe has been joking that we are going to be eating rice for the next month, which is probably very, very true. I’m a big believer that rice and beans is one of the best meals around. Basic, healthy, cheap. But if we’re going to consume rice and beans in this house, Joe needs it to be a little more interesting than the basic version.

Our whole family enjoyed this dinner. It was healthy, relatively quick and easy to make and completely filling. I added sweet potatoes to the mix for a little color and added nutrition and topped the bowls with chopped avocado and salsa. And I totally would have added sour cream if we had it on hand!

BlackBeans_3

Spiced Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes with Rice
Recipe type: Entree, Main Dish, Vegetarian
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 (14- to 15-oz) can black beans (do not rinse or drain)
  • 1 (14- to 15-oz) can diced tomatoes (I used the kind with oregano and garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • Hot cooked brown rice, avocado and salsa, if desired
Instructions
  1. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add in the onion and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is cooked and softened slightly. Add in the garlic and sweet potatoes and cook 2 minutes more or until garlic is fragrant.
  2. Add the black beans, tomatoes, oregano, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne to the skillet and reduce heat to medium. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and sweet potatoes are softened.
  3. Spoon brown rice into bowls. Top with some of the black bean mixture, followed by some avocado and salsa, if desired.

Madison

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The “It” List for Babies and New Moms

December 29, 2015

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Lately, as I’m reflecting on Ainsley’s first year of life, I’ve been thinking about the items I wish I would have registered for and the items that would have been welcome during those first few months of Ainsley’s life. You see, there are the items that mom’s register for and the items that later on they wish they had registered for.

I pulled together a list of the items that fit that bill for me in hopes that it would help you be a fantastic gift giver next time someone you love has a baby!

1. Zutano Booties 
The most frustrating part of dressing a baby? Finding shoes that stay on their feet! A friend of mine recommended these, saying they were easy to put on and hard for babies to get off their feet. We purchased some right away! They come in all sorts of fun colors and patterns.

2. Felt Bows 
I ended up buying a LOT of headbands, bows and girly items for Ainsley once she was born, but I wish I would have gotten some as gifts! These little felt bows from A Little Lady Shop are just the sweetest thing and they come in so many pretty colors. Added bonus? Buying from a small boutique adds an extra special touch.

3. Monogramed Bibs and Burp Cloths
This is a luxury take on a necessary item. We had friends send us a bunch of pretty monogramed bibs and burp cloths after Ainsley was born, and it feels so special when we use them, and a little fancy. I wouldn’t have spent the money on it myself, which makes it even more wonderful to receive something like this.

4. The Emily Ley Baby BookGuys, this book is just so beautiful and special and worth every penny. It would make a lovely gift for an expecting mom that they would cherish forever. I was gifted one and it’s perfect for non-crafters like myself who still want to create beautiful, personalized memories for their children.

5. A Really Special Outfit
This can be from anywhere you please, but my Aunt kindly splurged on a few really nice outfits for Ainsley and it was such a tender and generous gift. New parents are frequently buying a lot of items for baby and probably going a little cheaper on the clothing (think Carters, Old Navy, etc.) but having a few truly beautiful keepsake items that can stand the test of time and be passed down from generation to generation is a thoughtful gift!

6. Owlet Baby Monitor
I haven’t personally tried this product, but I can promise you with our next baby I will be buying one. It’s a new product that slips onto baby’s foot like a sock and monitors their oxygen levels, alerting you if they drop and something is wrong with your little one. I can tell you that having this peace of mind during Ainsley’s first few months of life would have been so wonderful. Plus, the foot/sock design seems like a great way to actually keep the monitor on without having it fall off at every diaper change.

7. Diapers (in large sizes!)
We got a lot of diapers in newborn, 1 and 2 sizes, but we ended up buying a lot of the larger sizes down the road. Think ahead and give the gift of large diapers! 🙂

8. Tiny Tags Necklace
I was gifted one of these last Christmas with Ainsley’s name on it and I wear it all the time. I loved it so much that I gave my sister-in-law one with her kiddo’s initials as well. It’s a thoughtful gift that any new mom would be thrilled to be gifted.

9. A Blue Apron Subscription
Those first few weeks, take-out and freezer meals are always SO appreciated, but eventually it’s nice to get back to cooking healthy, home-cooked meals. However, the grocery shopping and meal planning with a newborn can feel pretty overwhelming, even for someone who loves to cook. Blue Apron is a recipe and meal delivery service that brings you pre-measured ingredients and recipes straight to your door so you can cook the meal yourself without the planning, prepping or any hassle. Joe and I are trying it next week for the first time!

10. Nice Comfy Clothes for Mom
Sometimes mom gets overlooked in all the excitement surrounding baby, and chances are moms are hesitant to buy clothes for their ever-changing post-baby body. But there is nothing more confidence boosting and encouraging than having a nice pair of workout or lounge clothes, even if they only fit for a short time. My favorite brand these days is Athleta.

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Holiday Pilates

November 27, 2015

Pilates 4x4 Holiday 2

 

My friend Robin is a pilates instructor and founder of The Balanced Life. I’ve mentioned Robin before, but it bears repeating that she has one of the most balanced, authentic voices in the fitness community.

A balanced approach to fitness during the holidays? Now that’s something I can get behind. And while I love the sweet treats and celebratory foods that come with the season, my goal come January is to feel fit and healty while also feeling like I was able to enjoy the foods I love.

Robin is launching the Pilates 4×4 Program on November 30th. Here’s a bit more about what it entails and who it’s for…

The program is for:

1. Women who are short on time
2. Busy moms who need something they can easily do from home that won’t take hours + travel time + extra showers.
3. Women who travel and need something they can easily do from their hotel room or while visiting relatives.
4. Women who don’t love going to the gym or who don’t have access to a gym on a regular basis.
5. Women who are interested in building core strength, improving flexibility, and toning from head to toe.
6. Women who need a little extra encouragement and accountability because they have trouble staying consistent with their workouts on their own.

The program will include:

– 4 (40 minute) Pilates workouts (a new one goes out each week)
– Progress Journal to stay in-tune with your body & mind during the holiday season
– A daily “cup of motivation” email to feel inspired and motivated as you start each day
– Goal-setting guide
– Workout checklist to keep you on track
– A handful of other fun bonuses!

I’m going to be participating in order to stay on track and keep myself in a healthy mindset during the holidays. What a great feeling to get through December feeling great about your body, right? If you want to join me, you have just three days to sign up for the program. Sign up or find out more HERE.

Madison

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What’s In My Bag: Influence Conference Edition

September 16, 2015

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Tomorrow I’m leaving my favorite people (and my baby for the very first time overnight!) and heading to Influence Conference for the second year in a row. Conferences? Gah, conferences. I have such a love-hate relationship with them because my secretly introverted self feels so. dang. uncomfortable. But once I just do the dang thing? It’s always worth it.

I’m working on going out of my comfort zone more and more these days, and I think it’s doing me a world of good.

So what’s in my bag? Here’s a look:

1. My MacBook Air
I’ll be doing a little work while I’m there and hoping to jot down some ideas for blog content while I’m listening to all the amazing speakers.

2. My iPhone
How else am I supposed to FaceTime my baby five times a day? Plus, what’s a blogging conference without social media?

3. FLYJOY Bars
Conferences are notorious for having bad food and lousy snacks, so I’ll be taking plenty of FLYJOY bars for myself and to hand out. If you’re hungry and attending the conference, come find me and I’ll hook you up!

4. Wet Wipes
I’m getting all fancy and taking the cute, scented wipes since I won’t have a baby in tow. I’m now realizing that #momlife means getting excited about taking fancy wipes in your purse.

5. Business Cards
Purchased on VistaPrint. I’m never really sure why everyone hands out cards. Does anyone go back and look at them after the conference? I’ll never know, but I can’t imagine going without a stack.

6. Lip Glosses
Both basic (EOS) and fun (Victoria’s Secret) because that’s about as close as you’ll ever get me to wearing lipstick.

7. Notebooks
For jotting down thoughts, ideas, prayers and dreams. A couple days away, without distractions, is always good for my heart and mind. It’s such a breath a fresh air to have room to dream and plan and hope for the future.

8. My Joby GripTight Gorillapod Phone Stand
I’m convinced this will make Periscoping and selfies about a thousand times better.

Is anyone else out there going to Influence? If you are, please come find me and say hello!

Madison

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Mid-Year Reset

August 28, 2015

MidYearReview

 

In my “When Life Needs White Paint” post, I talked about a mid-year reset to start fresh. Although I’m no longer in school, I love the idea of starting new habits and intentions at the beginning of the school year. There’s something SO much more inspiring about starting new goals and routines in September than in the middle of the winter in January. Anyone with me?

Today we closed on our new house. There is more work to be done than I want to think about in order to make it a home that works for us, but we’re diving in headfirst! Although a lot of our free time will be devoted to home projects, I’m trying to be more intentional about my time by setting a few goals for the fall and beyond. Last week I jotted a few notes down about what I want to do and where I want to devote my time. Most of my list is pretty self-explanatory and straightforward, and now that I look at the list again I think it could be described like this: Live more life! Connect more, spend more time in the moment, experience new things and move my body more frequently.  I want to spend more time in my life if that makes any sense at all.

Now I want to hear from you! What do you hope to do this “school year” and beyond? Goals, hopes, dreams? Maybe we can all do a little mid-year reset together!

Madison